Specialty Centers  > Stroke Center  > Neurology Clinical Trials 

Neurology Clinical Trials

The most advanced options for recovery are often associated with an investigative drug or procedure.

Palmetto Health is committed to reducing death and disability from stroke. Not only do our excellent physicians provide care at the bedside of the stroke patient, but also participate in sophisticated clinical trials to better the outcomes of stroke patients everywhere. Many times, patients at Palmetto Health will qualify for this cutting edge research.

Just one of the patients that is living proof that research even in the investigational stages pays off shares his story.

Bud Harrelson did not make it to the hospital in time to be given the clot-busting drug tPA, but there was still hope. You have to arrive within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms to qualify for tPA therapy. Dr. Souvik Sen is an investigator of a new drug that dissolves clots and can be used up to 9 hours after the onset off symptoms. It uses vampire bat venom as the clot buster in this drug.  Mr. Harrelson was offered the opportunity to be a part of this clinical trial to see if his symptoms would go away, with the injection of  a new drug being tested. Mr. Harrelson was told there was a 50-50 chance that he would get the "real thing" or he would get the placebo (nothing). He said later, "What did I have to lose. I was paralyzed on one side and couldn't speak."

The drug was given and within seconds a wound on the top of his head began to bleed.  His daughter said, "We knew right then he had gotten the real thing. We were all so excited." Today, November of 2012, Mr. Harrelson goes around to seminars and community events to tell his story and he is back dancing with his wife like they love to do. 

Mr. Harrelson and Dr. Souvik Sen, Chair of the Department of Neurology at USC School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, affectionately share the same nickname, "Batman".